The Hayward Rubber Company


The primarily agricultural town of Colchester began changing dramatically in 1847 when Nathaniel Hayward, owner of a small rubber shoe factory in Lisbon, built a rubber plant on Lebanon Avenue.  The company produced rubber shoes and boots attracting nearly 1,000 people to the town to work as laborors in the factory.  Mills, farms, retail stores a bank and manufacturing plants soon opened in order to serve the growing community.  Nathaniel Hayward was instrumental in the formation of a fire company in 1854 and was involved with the establishment of the Colchester Savings Bank.

In 1865 Nathaniel Hayward died, but the rubber company and the town continued to prosper.  In 1893 The Colchester Rubber Company was sold to the U.S. Rubber Company.  Soon after the company closed permanently leaving 600 workers without jobs.

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Ghoulchester: A Graveyard Tour into the Past
Location: tour begins at Hayward Fire Company Museum on South Main Street
Friday, October 13, 6 pm to 7:30 pm
*(Rain Date: Sunday, October 15, 4 pm to 5:30 pm)*
$10 CHS members / $15 non-members / $25 families
Fortune-teller cost: $10 for 10-minute reading (optional; pay at Colchester History Museum)

Formerly known as the “Spooky Cemetery Tour,” the Colchester Historical Society’s newly-named “Ghoulchester” is still the same great popular program! During this tour of the Colchester Burying Ground, visitors will meet notable characters from Colchester’s past–as if they’ve just risen from their graves to share their stories!

Tours are guided and recommended for both adults and families with children. All children 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Please wear comfortable footwear, dress for the weather, and bring a flashlight to enhance your experience. Tour space is limited and advanced reservations are strongly recommended.

After your tour, meet a fortune-teller (extra cost; purchase tickets in advance of your tour, as tickets are limited) and enjoy free baked goods and apple cider refreshments at the nearby Colchester History Museum.

*If rain date is necessary, decision will be made by 12 noon on 10/13. Check Facebook and/or CHS E-Blast for notification. Event will be cancelled in event of heavy rains; light percipitation will not cause event to be cancelled; dress appropriately.*

The historic Colchester Burying Ground, located behind the Old Bacon Academy, is one of the finest graveyards in eastern Connecticut housing the remains of many prominent citizens, and featuring exquisitely carved historic headstones. For more information, email: mail@colchesterhistory.org.

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